Newly elected Speaker Martin G. Romualdez on Monday assured members of the House of Representatives and their constituents of a fair share in the distribution of national resources.
An overwhelming show of support from his colleagues lifted Romualdez in the speakership race during Monday’s session, thus making him the 24th Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He was unopposed in the speakership race, and with a vote of 282, Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), ascended to the top spot in the chamber after serving for three years as its Majority Leader in the previous 18th Congress.
Lawmakers said Romualdez is the most qualified member of the House of Representatives to lead the chamber.
Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, son of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., nominated Romualdez, while several other colleagues, including Rep. Ralph Recto of Batangas, seconded the nomination.
Recto described the former Majority Leader as “a workhorse, in a political culture which tempts many to become show horses.”
“As your Speaker, I vow to attend to all the concerns of your constituents. I shall try to be as fair as possible and favor no one,” Romualdez told his colleagues after thanking them for electing him as their leader.
“There will be fair and equitable distribution of resources for development of our regions, regardless of political affiliation. Every Filipino family must be included in any development agenda. No one gets left behind,” he said.
The new House leader said his office would be “always available to all Representatives of our people,” be they from the Majority or from the Minority.
“Priority will be given to those willing to share the aspirations of their constituents with me,” he added.
Before tackling serious business in his remarks, he thanked House members “for the honor of choosing me to serve as your Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 19th Congress.”
“I gladly accept your trust and confidence with the promise that we will collectively work to make the 19th Congress the best it can possibly be,” he said.
The new Speaker also expressed his deep gratitude to President Marcos “for having espoused the message of unity, and for supporting the House, its leadership and its legislative agenda,” and to Education Secretary and Vice President Sara Duterte, who personally witnessed his election and oath-taking.
He likewise thanked his wife, Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez of Tingog party-list, his mother Juliette Gomez Romualdez, his children, and the rest of his family for their “support and sacrifices.”
He acknowledged former Speaker and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco for the accomplishments of the 18th Congress, in which he served as House majority leader.
“We are confident that with the unity that our President has espoused, we can actually overcome the crippling effects of this pandemic, political differences, or the impacts of the Ukrainian war,” he said.
Romualdez said though their task may be daunting, “our synergy is the seed that will nurture us for the next three years.”
Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos nominated Romualdez, his uncle and erstwhile boss, while several other colleagues, including Rep. Ralph Recto of Batangas, seconded the nomination.
Marcos said he was endorsing the Leyte congressman for the speakership not because of “familial relations” but on the strength of his qualifications.
Recto, the former senator, described the former Majority Leader as “a workhorse, in a political culture which tempts many to become show horses.”